ILW publication focuses on space capabilities 


Douglas Schaffer

Institute of Land Warfare

AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has released a new publication: "U.S. Army Space Capabilities: Enabling the Force of Decisive Action" (Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012), which explores how space assets and force structure support Army unified land operations.

The U.S. Army conducts unified land operations in a variety of challenging environments.

To mitigate the effects of terrain, distance and time, the Army relies on a technological backbone built on space-based capabilities that reduce operational risk and assure landpower dominance.

Space enablers support each of the Army’s warfighting functions with a variety of services, such as satellite communications, precision location data and high-resolution imagery.

These space capabilities, among others, are provided by a tactical space force of professional soldiers.

The space force spans both active and reserve components and fields dedicated space units as well as embedded forces within tactical headquarters. U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) brings together all elements of space operations.

This split-based command is the Army’s proponent for space and provides capabilities for today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow through education, training, personnel management and technology advancement.

USASMDC/ARSTRAT is working with a variety of government and nongovernment partners to demonstrate the next generation of low-cost, replaceable and "tailorable" satellites and launch vehicles.

Space is the ultimate high ground, and the Army depends on space-based capabilities.

A trained and ready space cadre supported by appropriate resources and adequate force structure is required to preserve the Army’s combat edge. Army space enablers touch each aspect of the "prevent, shape and win" strategy through strategic flexibility, connectivity and precision lethality.

The Army is the nation’s force of decisive action, and space is the nation’s decisive enabler.

These and other ILW publications are available online at and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 630, or by e-mailing a request to